Sense and Sociability - Your Guide to Social Media Etiquette

    by Beth Dunn

    Date

    March 3, 2010 at 4:35 PM

    Miss Jane

    Gentle Reader;

    Social media is now part of every area of life, like it or not. Once the domain of the young, the idle, and the insufficiently modest, it is now a world with which every seasoned professional is expected to be conversant.

    But, once entered, this new world can often bewilder. We might find that the words we use and the deeds we accomplish online are misconstrued, our meanings twisted, and our best intentions for naught.

     

    Sense and Sociability is your guide to etiquette and manners on the social web. Let your good breeding shine through as you bravely enter the world of Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Navigate the shoals of new technologies with confidence that your dignity and good sense will remain intact. Kindly send in your own delicate inquiries at sense@hubspot.com .
     
    And call me Miss Jane. ;)

     

    Dear Miss Jane,

     

    A reader posted a snarky comment on my blog.  I want to respond pleasantly and non-combatively, maintaining my stance while acknowledging his/her point of view.  I don't want it to escalate, but I also don’t want to ignore something that might add value to the conversation.  What should I do?

    –KK, Austin, TX

    KK,
     
    You should respond to the snarky commenter on your blog. The comment section of your blog is there to encourage discussion, and not all discussion will be to the author’s liking, alas.  Nor do all commenters fully understand how to modulate their tone when dissenting with a blog post’s point of view. You can set a better example by responding in a moderate, respectful tone to your reader. If they respond with increased bile and a continued lack of command of their “inside voice,” you should feel free to ignore them.
     
    If this is a regular occurrence, consider posting a blanket comment policy on your business blog . A simple, sensible declaration in the sidebar that your reserve your right to moderate comments that are abusive, defamatory, or rude will alert readers to the behavior you expect from them. Some bloggers stipulate that commenters say nothing they wouldn’t say in front of their mothers, which seems sensible to this writer.
     

    Dear Miss Jane,


    An old friend from high school recently "discovered" Facebook and is now busily scanning in and posting old pictures of our gang on Facebook -- and tagging them with our names! What should I do? 

    –MA, West Barnstable, MA

    Facebook privacy controls are a vast and ever-changing landscape. You can control who sees images that have been tagged with your name in your permissions control panel, limiting it to only friends, only certain lists of friends, or restrict access to only yourself.  However, recall that anyone who is friends of the person who tagged you might be able to see those pictures, and your associated name.
     
    If the pictures are not ones that you enjoy having associated with your good name – for whatever reason – you are well within your rights to remove the tag. Simply view the image and click on the link in the caption that reads “remove tag.”  You might then send a message to the person who tagged you, explaining your action. Explain that you maintain a broad network of friends on Facebook, some personal, some professional , and you strive to maintain an image that fits you across both social spheres. Images of your 15-year-old self in a Duran Duran tour shirt and little else are best left in the shoebox.


    Sense and Sociability
    is written by Beth Dunn , a member of the Inbound Marketing Consultant team at HubSpot. Beth also blogs at www.bethdunn.org .

     

    Image by Jim Hill .

     

    Submit your own questions to Sense and Sociability at sense@hubspot.com .

     

     

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